Friday, March 31st, 2023

The best part of working with Don Slater and others in the movement…

Billy GloverJuly 18, 2012.

I have been trying to understand and deal with what is obvious—a generic issue—that young people don’t know the history of our nation or the movement go gain civil rights for homosexual (now GLBT) Americans.

I think that I don’t care for giving credit, but think that if they don’t know how much work had to be done then they might not know that they now have to do some more work, not just to keep what we have given them, but to keep it from being reversed.

Much time in ONE’s offices was spent, obviously, on practical things: putting together the next issue of the magazine, having committee meetings, doing the monthly lectures, preparing for the yearly business meeting, doing the banking, answering letters, etc. But while we were doing these tasks, we also could talk and discuss things.

I don’t remember covering this issue, but it seems to me it will help us philosophically and emotionally to understand that, even though young people will not know or care what we have done, what the founders of the nation and this movement have done each succeeding generation, they have a right to enjoy the results. They can use the phone without knowing who invented it or how.

But there seems to me to be a valid reason for preserving the history of the nation and the movement. It is good to not worry about having the right to freedom of speech, press, etc. But if young people assume the rights came about with no work, and will always be there, they are mistaken. That is why education is necessary.

I see TIME magazine is advertising you can get copies of the covers of their magazines, starting with the very first issue. I’m not sure the covers of ONE magazine will tell people much—we didn’t have pictures of the current celebrities or events. But a glance at the index, starting with the very first issue, will tell historians that we covered every issue of homosexuality that is being discussed today.

Since Lawrence vs. Texas, and the ending of DADT, perhaps some think we have nothing more to worry about. But a glance at the local newspapers, while they still exist, will show that there are constant attacks on the same issues—some Republicans want to return DADT, and many law enforcement agents still try to arrest people for sex.

As Barak Obama has said, and the Republicans have distorted, we are where we are because previous generations built roads, fought and died in wars, and gave us the Internet. As we enjoy the TV tonight, we are foolish if we don’t appreciate how good things are and want to work to keep them that way and make them even better for the next generations.


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  1. Phil Dragotto

    I agree that it is important for today’s young people know the hard work it took to bring us where we are today. I know many of them still suffer discrimination, especially the boys who are effeminate and the girls who are butch. But I don’t know that many of them lived their entire teenage years in shame and even fear of being discovered as homosexual. When I was a kid, even if my parents or a good friend came to me and said it was OK to be who I was, I would deny it and keep suffering because of the self-hatred societal mores put on us. So, obviously what you pioneers did was essential, necessary, and extremely courageous and should be taught in all high school history classes.But if young people today are going to be made aware of what their predecessors did, it needs to be presented in a pretty condensed manner. They are so used to texting and tweeting, they don’t have the patience to read or hear the long version. Maybe Gay or LGBT history should become a Major in college for a B.A., a Masters, and ultimately a Doctorate. The saga of homosexuality is an important part of history, and what you men and women did should be seen as a giant step toward assimilation into general society with sexual orientation being a non-issue. It seems that most minorities who want to embrace their differences rather than be matter-of-fact about them hold back the majority of the minority.I see nothing interesting about being common or pedestrian, but you can be different, intellectual, and a step above the mundane, and still be mainstream enough to assimilate into any job setting and living environment.I am writing this in a hurry as IO have to get ready to go to a client’s, so I apologize if I mis-stated or was in any way thoughtless or exclusive of more important issues.

  2. Billy Glover

    You said it well, and I totally agree. In fact, perhaps becAuse I was a poor student and lazy, I always knew that if someone really knew their subject, they could explain it in simple terms and in few words. I’m not sure what one would do with a major in glbt studies, but I think all disciplines need to cover our issues, law schools, medical schools, sociology, psychology,theology, etc.

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